Alyson Minkley

Despite sculptural training, my practice is not material-led, in fact ideologically it questions materiality in overconsumption, anti-consumerism & ecocide. Yet, when appropriate, I use materials to embody labour and convey meaning through contextual association. Investment in process, develops dialogue, shaping outcomes in a respectful dance between material & maker. Referring to materials in the broadest sense, my repertoire stretches from solidstate 3D, through fluidity of textile, drawing & text to transience in time-based film, durational performance & immersive virtual environments. I see myself as a shaper of thought & feeling as much as material; exploring experimental balance between intuition/response & research/skill. Starting with embodiment of idea, my aim is to evoke phenomenological reflection & enquiry.

Themes of investigation include living in paradox with didactic systems in an age of information, political & social manipulation through media & education, challenging social constructs of age, gender & neuro-normality & cataloguing embodied social anthropology. As antithesis to working in secondary-education and with an inescapable lens of dyspraxia, I advocate curiosity, play & interaction, testing ideas, questioning boundaries & connecting cross-discipline; this is evident in my work both as outcome and process. I collaborate with experts in wider-fields. For example the development of Human Murmuration involved consultation in behavioural phycology, musical composition and collaboration with a creative coder. For Datafield I worked with a sociologist, dance therapist & statistical mathematician to devise, then sound, film & textile specialists in production. Datafield is participative using co-creation to develop semiotic performative movement communicating thoughts & feelings.

Art as a vehicle to engender dialogue is recurrent throughout my projects. Ideas sparked through chance encounters and developed in consultation and debate. Labour-intensive making-processes create opportunity for reflection through conversation and, when participation is involved, conversations can become the material for making, embodied or in spoken-word/text form. In Haptic Traces, 360 drawing series, 17 seconds uses written text snippets of dialogues, news broadcasts & private thoughts reflecting on transition post-lockdown, to physically surround & contain my being in a 104 minute durational performance. Folklore, industrial history & personal tales of local people, gathered whilst in residence, are embodied in the precariously-balanced sculptural-works created in response to the complex social-politics of post-referendum Cornwall for the Porthleven Prize.

In short, my practice is socially-engaged, experiential & contemporarily topical while my approach is cross-discipline with dialogue & embodiment as enduring methodologies.